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Photos, Stories and Scrapbooking

Tag: extraction (Page 1 of 4)

One Thing Led to Another

I went off by myself to Lauritzen Gardens on Friday. The staff creates a beautiful display each December with miniature trains, Christmas trees and Poinsettias. This year native little bluestem, goldenrod and Western meadowlark adorned the trees. The bird ornaments were cleverly made from paper plates. You would think that after nearly a five hundred shots, I would have captured everything. Unfortunately, it’s often not until I get home that I realize I should have tried a different perspective on a photo. There is always something new to learn in photography.

I would also like to be able to say that I purposefully created this page based on a preconceived design for the final product. I can’t. It was more a series of experiments that followed an initial idea to simply clip a photo to a mask and then extract the paper meadowlark for dimension.

Unfortunately, the page just wasn’t working in my mind. Rather than waste the extraction, I reduced the meadowlarks’ size and gave it a custom shadow. I placed some berries from MultiMedia Christmas Trees No. 2 just above his beak.

That first extraction led me back to Lightroom to find the tree decorated with paper meadowlarks in order to provide a context for the extraction. I clipped the tree to mask 5 in MultiLayered FotoBlendz No. 6. I made some adjustments directly on the mask with blending brushes and attached a layer mask to eliminate a part of the mask.

Next, I extracted three more paper birds, gave them each a shadow and hung them on the tree.

To build the background, I stamped brushes 2 and 3 from WaterColor Trees No. 2. I clipped copies of the first photo I placed on this page and moved it around for variety in the trees’ color.

Below the trees, I placed transfer 3 from ArtPlay Palette Joyeux on normal blend mode and hid parts using a brush on a layer mask.

Above the stamped trees, I placed the layers of psd file 3 from MultiMedia Holiday No. 4.

I could have left the page asymmetrical in design but chose to recreate the horizontal design of artsy paper 3, I placed the layers of transfer 4 from Artsy Transfers Joyeux as well as pieces from transfers 1 and 3 on the left and below the focal tree.

Finally, I placed the title from Holiday WordART Mix No. 7 in the space on the upper left to balance the journaling. This page is busier than I normally like, but when I turned off parts, it didn’t look right to me.

I usually find it helpful to try turning off and on parts in the layers panel if a page isn’t working or looks cluttered. I did that several times during the process of creating this page. Rather than labor on this any more, I’m going to let it go and move on to working with some of the other photos that I captured on Friday at Lauritzen Gardens.

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Forever Together

Anna’s latest release reminded me that next September will mark our 50th anniversary, yes 50 years living life together. Geese generally mate for life. In fact, if one mate dies, the other goes off in seclusion to mourn, often never mating again. I think Bill and I are a lot like these geese. We’ve been together for nearly fifty years. If he dies, I’m not going to choose another man. It would simply be too much work in my mind, not that our marriage hasn’t been good because it has. I just think that after 50 years, I’m too old for a second go around. I know that I’d never find a better man!!

I began this page by clipping a photo of a pair of geese to png mask 1 from Flock FotoBlendz No. 1. I added adjustment layers to improve the color and contrast of my photo.

Below the masked photo, I placed transfers 2, 3 and 5 from ArtPlay Palette Flock as well as overlay 1, 2 and the gold overlay to create a variation on an artsy paper as I explained in another post, Artsy Paper Play. In addition, I also placed artsy paper 2 just above solid paper 1. With an artsy brush on an inverted mask, I revealed part of the right side of the paper.

In the screenshot above, part of the tail of the goose on the right fades away into the mask. To solve that problem, I extracted both geese with the Quick Selection tool, gave them a shadow and placed both above the original photo. The extractions also add depth to the page.

Above the geese, I placed transfer 1 along the same line as the grass on transfer 3 which is hidden by the mask and photo.

I added the layers of file 2 from MultiMedia Birds No. 2 just as they are provided in the set.

I created the title by erasing part of word art from Gather WordART Mix No. 2 and added a word that better fit my journaling.

Finally, I used three pieces of the grass, resized, a word label and a flower to create a small cluster to border the journaling.

This page came together quickly which was a good thing this weekend. I’ve been out playing Pokemon Go for the special Thanksgiving event in our beautiful weather and finally made level 37.

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An iPhone and a Template

 

When Corbin and Kate spent the night a couple of weeks ago, we walked down to the trees beyond the pond. All I had with me was my iPhone 6 to capture my grandson’s gallantry towards his sister as he helped her mimic whatever he did, including leaping over a little stream. I did warn them about getting wet if they fell into the water below. As you can tell by the photos, Kate was hesitant at first, but soon enough began directing her brother exactly where she wanted him to stand in order to help her. It was getting dark so I had to increase the exposure later in Lightroom. Some of the photos were a little blurry, something I accepted as part of making photos of active children with an iPhone, or any camera for that matter, as the sun was setting.

For this two page spread, I used two templates from Anna’s new album, Project Template Album No. 3. Note: I put a title in the place of a textbox on the template and deleted the numbers as well as the tape and hipster plumes.

First, I clipped photos to the large fotoblendz masks and stains below, adjusting the exposure with adjustment layers.

Next, I clipped photos to the small frames, again making adjustments to the photos with adjustment layers. Note: I changed two of the photos to black and white with Topaz Studio.

I then placed copies of three small photos above their respective frames, extracted my granddaughter and grandson with the Quick Selection tool and cleaned up the framing with a small hard brush on the layer mask created with the extraction.

I stamped stains from ArtsyStains No. 3 and ArtsyStains No. 5 below both templates for additional color.

For the gutter, I placed another photo and changed it to black and white with an adjustment layer. I then added an inverted layer mask to the photo and stamped with brushes from ArtsyPaint No. 8 and ArtsyStains No. 3 to reveal just parts of the photo.

Finally, I added paper textures from PaperTextures No. 4 and PaperTextures No. 5 to finish my page.

My layout was quick and easy to complete with the snapshots I captured that evening with my old iPhone. Digital scrapbooking can’t get much easier!!

However, technology changes quickly, definitely on phone cameras. Like my grandchildren, I made a leap too and bought a new iPhone X last week. I haven’t gotten to take many photos with it yet, but what I captured of Kate last weekend, see examples below, with the new portrait mode definitely show the technical improvements over my older iPhone. I don’t think the blur is as good as my Fuji X-T2, but if you look closely, you will see that the background is indeed blurred, much like you would get with a DSLR. I’m looking forward to experimenting more with my new iPhone.

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Embrace the Change

The Red Sunset Maple we planted in our yard in 2012 isn’t quite so little anymore. I’ve been taking photos of it every year when the leaves change. This year, it’s just now in full color. I keep trying different angles. I’m waiting for some sunshine before capturing some photos this year.

Anna Aspnes has a knack for creating shadowed overlays and transfers in her artplay palettes, but overlay 2 has got to be one of my all time favorites. I dragged just the overlay from ArtPlay Palette Rudeneja onto a new blank document with solid paper 1 below and started thinking.

Although I don’t have the skills to create the kind of shadows that Anna creates, I decided to import a photo of just a branch from my Red Sunset Maple tree and try creating something similar. I extracted the branch and created custom shadow by duplicating the extraction, filling it with a dark brown, tweaking the shape with the warp transform tool and changing the blend mode to linear burn. I added a layer mask to the shadow, reduced the opacity in order to try to get it to look more realistic.

To fill the background, I placed artsy paper 2 below my extraction. That helped give my branch more dimension.

I then placed transfer 3, transfer 5 and art stroke 1 from ArtPlay Palette Rudeneja. I adjusted the position of overlay 2 so that it was directly above the overlay on solid paper 2 and changed the blend mode of overlay 2 to multiply to add depth to the paper. Note: That overlay is part of solid paper 2.

With a title from Change WordART Mix No. 1, a mix of two psd files from MultiMedia Branches No. 9 and a sentence of journaling, I decided my page was finished.

Now, what I really want to learn is how to shadow the way Anna does!

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Carving Pumpkins

One of my goals for this year’s book has been to look back in time on some pages, something I did on this one. The earliest photos were taken in 2008, a time when only Owen, my oldest grandson, was old enough to carve a pumpkin. By 2010, Logan carved a pumpkin and by 2012, Corbin, my youngest grandson, was old enough to get involved. I captured the photos of Kate yesterday.

Have you ever started a page but had to wait to fill in the remaining photos until you could make them? That’s what happened with this page, I had everything finished, I just needed to place photos of Kate carving her pumpkin on the layout. I actually could have created an entire two page spread with just photos of Kate with all the photos I made yesterday. However, I want the boys to have pumpkin carving photos to remind them of they’ve also had this experience.

I began this page in Lightroom, searching for photos of my grandchildren carving pumpkins. I made some adjustments in the develop module and then exported them to Photoshop. Note: Lightroom is especially convenient for searches when you want to combine photos that deal with a common theme from different years.

After placing all the layers of templates 15 and 16 from Hipster Plume Template Album No. 2, I turned off most of the layers. I deleted a text box and put my title there. I also deleted the hipster plumes because I didn’t think they worked with my topic.

The background of the focal photo on the left was green, so I extracted my grandson and recolored the mask a soft brown. It was simpler than finding a paper that worked.

Then I turned on the small frames on the left and clipped my photos to the frames. I added adjustment layers to the photos to create a more consistent look to the page. I added some splatters.

Next, I opened the layers of psd file 1 from ArtsyHalloween No. 1 on a new blank psd page. I wanted to add the eyes and nose from file 3, but I was finding it difficult to work with all the layers on my original document. So I stacked the layers from the two psd files on a new file and deleted most of the file 3 layers until I got the playful look I wanted.

I then dragged the layers to my original document and created a group. On the far left, I reduced the size and flipped the layers horizontally as a group. On the other side, I moved the eyes but resized the group larger than on the left.

For the page gutter, I masked a photo of just carved pumpkins. The bottom layer is on linear blend mode at 20% opacity. The copy above is on overlay at 30%.

Next, I began turning back on the layers of the template on the right. I clipped three more photos to the small frames, adding adjustment layers as needed.

I added another group of the artsy pumpkin on the far right, resizing and flipping the orientation of the eyes. At this point, I had to stop until I had some photos of Kate to add to the page.

To the large mask on the right, I clipped Kate’s photos. I added a stain from ArtsyStains No. 5 to the right of my granddaughter to fill the space that one of the plumes that I had deleted. I clipped another copy of the photo to that stain. As I’ve explained in previous posts, I often clip copies of the focal photo to stains below a fotoblendz mask.

I turned on the last two small frames, clipped photos and adjusted the exposure with adjustment layers.

Kate wanted a turn to use my camera and take my picture. I handed it off so that she could hold the camera and push the little button. I stamped a brush from ArtsyPaint No. 13 and placed that in the background, softening the edges with a brush from AnnaBlendz Artsy No. 9. I changed the blend mode to linear burn at 30% and clipped my photo to it after giving the photo a black and white filter from Topaz Studio.

I finished my page with textures from PaperTextures No. 5 and ArtsyPaint No. 13.

I love the older photos combined with the new on this page. It won’t be long before they all outgrow pumpkin carving. Only three dressed up to go trick or treating this year; it’s a little sad to me how quickly the time has passed. Every moment with them is precious.

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Simple Techniques and Basic Skills

When the kids spent the night recently, we walked up to our newly renovated neighborhood park. Kate’s been anxious to play there again now that the fencing has been taken down. It was a riot watching Corbin convince his sister that sand on a saucer swing made swinging even better. All I had with me was my iPhone, but I took some shots as they played, never thinking that I would use them to create a page. Yes, there are only photos about just a few moments at the park on this page, but for me they tell an important story about play between a big brother and a little sister.

I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with these photos. Initially, I dragged three of them on to my page. I knew I wanted one spanning the gutter of the page, so I would need to make some adjustments to a template. I added a layer mask to the photo and used brushes at various opacities to bring back the part of the photo I wanted to reveal. I changed the blend mode to multiply. I used another copy to extract my two grandchildren and the swing on normal blend mode and 100% opacity in order to make them stand out more from the background.

I followed the same process with the other two photos, using the lines of the sidewalk in the background and the mat in the front to line up the photos. It seemed more important that the scene flowed across the page rather than that the figures were exactly the same size. Remember, I was just playing around with my iPhone when I captured these photos. The color in my photos in the late evening light appeared too strong for me, so I attached a hue and saturation layer to each photo and reduced the saturation to blend them together better.

Next, I placed frames from two templates from Hipster Plume Template Album No. 2. I made some adjustments in placement and size to fit my page design. I clipped my photos to the small frames and again added hue and saturation adjustment layers to reduce the saturation of each. I added the buttons for interest and depth.

I didn’t want more frames in the empty space below the center blended photo. So I imported another photo that showed more of the mat under the equipment. I used a paint brush on an inverted layer mask I attached to the photo to reveal enough to fill the space.

To recreate the sky in the photos, I added transfers from ArtPlay Palette Mountain High and ArtPlay Palette Summer Days. I attached inverted masks and blended away parts that interfered with the photos. I reduced the opacity, used hue and saturation adjustment layers to adjust the saturation and changed the blend modes to multiply.

I sampled the color of the mat under the equipment and stamped paint brushes from ArtsyPaint No. 7 and ArtsyPaint No. 10 on new blank layers to extend the look of the playground mat. I used an opacity of 60% as I stamped on new blank layers under the framed photos. I stamped two splatters to finish my page.

A reader recently wrote a comment thanking me for sharing easy to use ideas. I am very grateful that she took the time to let me know that the ideas were helpful. I really don’t use complex techniques for my book pages. I blend and extract with my photos. I use templates (or parts of templates) and transfers. I stamp with brushes using the brush panel on new blank layers. I experiment with blend modes and adjustment layers on my photos. Having developed some basic skills with Photoshop makes my creative process much easier. I can’t say that I’m fast at creating my pages. I enjoy experimenting as part of my creative process so I’m not in a hurry. However, simple techniques and basic skills are the key to creating my pages.

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Artsy Paper Play

I missed getting out in the yard to capture some photos of my hydrangeas along the northeast wall. There was way too much happening this past summer. However, in some ways, I prefer the intensity of color that comes with the seasonal change. The greens turn rosy pink and the pinks darken to burgundy. I hate to cut them back for fall before they’ve dried out entirely. As soon as all the rain is over, I will go out to capture some more photos so that I can create a page for my flower book.

I often play with Anna’s papers by mimicking and rearranging her designs using the transfers included in each ArtPlay Palette. It’s simple way to learn about design from an expert. I started this page by placing artsy paper 2 from ArtPlay Palette Cider on a new blank document.

Note: ArtPlay Palette Cider is available for free with a $20 purchase during the sale.

Just above the artsy paper, I placed solid paper 2.

Above the solid paper, I placed two copies of transfer 1 on normal blend mode.

Then I turned off the solid paper and lined up the transfers with their placement on the artsy paper.

After turning back on the solid paper layer, I placed overlay 3, two copies of the gold paint (the top one on color burn to intensify the color), and two copies of art stroke 1. In essence, I used the basic design of Anna’s paper to create something different. I might add something more once the artsy transfers are available, but for the moment, this is enough.

Then I extracted a hydrangea, changed the blend mode to multiply and applied a filter. Next, I another copy of the photo on normal blend mode at 50%. I linked the two together and adjusted their position above transfer 1.

Above the extraction, I placed stains, the frames, text boxes, and thread from template 4 of Hipster Plume Template Album No. 2.

I clipped additional photo to the small frames.

To create more dimension, I duplicated the two copies and moved them above the frames. I extracted just enough of the flower and leaf to overlap on the frames. With a title from the artplay palette, I was finished with my quick and easy page.

I encourage you to experiment with Anna’s transfers to create your own version of artsy papers.

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More Brush Play

Fall isn’t quite here yet in Nebraska, but I looked back in Lightroom for some photos that I captured a couple of years ago because I love fall here. These photos remind me that looking up through a canopy of leaves to find the sky is a photo perspective that I have neglected. My Sunset Red maple tree is large enough this year for me to photograph from below the canopy when the leaves begin to change in November.

I’ve been working a lot with brushes and began this page playing with Anna’s new PaintedLeaves No. 3. I stamped brush 6 in brown on a new layer and clipped solid paper 5 from ArtPlay Palette Amidst. I then duplicated the brush layer and recolored it a blue.

Note: I attached the layer masks after I placed the frame so that I would know where to erase.

Initially I experimented with adding leaves from a photo of my Sunset Red maple tree, but the color didn’t work. I then roughly extracted the leaf from transfer 1 using a layer mask. I duplicated that extraction, placed it over the brush stains and gave each a color overlay with the styles panel in order vary the color of each leaf. I added a drop shadow to each extraction.

At this point, I moved the psd layers of file 3 from MultiMedia Accordion No. 1 on to my document and enlarged the layers about 20%. I clipped a photo to each mask before masking out some of the brush and transfers on the left. I adjusted the exposure with levels adjustment layers.

I then placed overlay 3 and three copies of transfer 6 (rotated) from ArtPlay Palette Amidst behind the photo frames.

To fill in more white behind the frames, I placed all but one of the layers of Artsy Transfers Notabilia that I had used on my previous layout.

I finished my page by adding the leaf word art from Autumn WordART Mix No. 3, a leaf from the ArtPlay Palette Amidst, and a stem from MultiMedia Accordion No. 1.

What I like most about this layout is that my eye still focuses on the vibrant photographs.

Artsy Transfers


Sometimes, I simply like to create something unexpected with a photograph. My favorite products for playing when I’m in one of these moods are Anna’s artsy transfers. I try not to make it too complicated, but I enjoy experimenting by combining a couple of different psd artsy transfers on one page. You wouldn’t think transfers from such different palettes would blend together, but they can.

I placed most of the layers of psd file 5 from ArtsyTransfers Notabilia.

Below those layers, I placed all of the layers of psd 5 from ArtsyTransfers Shine.

This is what the two look like combined.

To the white paint layer of the artsy transfer, I clipped an extraction of a flower to which I had applied a paint effect in Topaz Impression. I flipped that layer and placed it below.

To finish my page, I added a custom shadow to my flower extraction, the foliage from ArtPlay Palette Notabilia, splatters from Splatters No. 3 and several threads.

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Variety of Greens

There is usually a story behind every photo made. In this case after walking in the warm sunshine my sister, Glenda, and I enjoyed a salmon salad at the Farmhouse, a lovely open air bistro on the grounds of Roger’s Gardens. I suppose a photo of the salad might have marked our day better than these fake succulents, but this trip was filled with work days helping my daughter move. Once we found a little shade, I helped my sister photograph these with her new camera. Sometimes, I simply take what I get and fill in the details of the story in order to document an event. Sometimes, I just want to remember a time together.

This was a very simple layout to put together using Anna’s new release. I actually chose this photo to document our lunch based on the color scheme of the new ArtPlay Palette Notabilia. I placed transfer 1 from the new artplay palette on a new blank document and blended my photo into the transfer using an inverted layer mask.

Note: I adjusted the color in my photo with a hue and saturation adjustment layer, but I learned a valuable lesson on color as I worked with this page.

Next, I placed the layers of psd file 2 from MultiMedia Documents No. 2 to create a frame effect around my photo. I switched out the flower with one from the artplay palette and added word art from Notabilia WordART Mix No. 1. I clipped an extracted copy of the same photo I had clipped to the transfer to the paper layer for the document multimedia file.

While I liked the photo on the multimedia document, I did not think there was enough interest on my page. I then opened Artsy Layered Template No. 255 and dragged the layers below my multimedia layers and turned them off. First, I moved the frames, text boxes, splatter and art stroke above the document layers but below the succulent element, thread and word art. I reduced the size of the frames slightly and recolored them an off white. The white frames appeared too stark with the color scheme. I wrote my journaling and added a subtitle from Notabilia WordART Mix No. 1. I could have left my page as below, but it appeared incomplete to me.

I began turning on the template layers that I had grouped below the multimedia layers. I recolored some stains, adjusted the blend mode and deleted some layers until I though I had created a soft background for the document file. I especially liked the look of the textured paper on the left with the paper in the document file.

I though I was finished with this page, until I looked again at the lack of variation in color on my page. So I reopened the file, adjusted my framed photos a little more, recolored some of the template stains and reduced the opacity.

I like the more natural variety in greens on this page much better now. Too much matching of color is not always a good thing.

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